Tuesday, September 27, 2022

YOU ASKED IT | 23 September, 2022

Of all the films released today, which film has got the maximum advantage of the National Cinema Day being celebrated today?

– The National Cinema Day is being celebrated by selling cinema tickets at a flat low price of Rs. 75 today. The maximum advantage of this has gone to BRAHMASTRA: PART ONE – SHIVA (which is in its third week) rather than to any new film which has opened today. In fact, the number of tickets sold for all the new films put together is not even half the number of tickets sold for BRAHMASTRA alone.

Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to celebrate the National Cinema day on 30th September when a big film like Vikram Vedha would be releasing?

– Why would the producers of the big film allow its first day’s tickets to be sold at Rs. 75 only? They are assured of a great opening at the usual high rates.

Is it true that UTV Software Communications Ltd., distributors of Brahmastra: Part One – Shiva, got the National Cinema Day postponed by a week — from 16th September to 23rd September — as its Brahmastra was to enter just the second week on 16th?

– Yes, it’s true. And rightly so! The Multiplex Association of India finalised the date for celebrating the National Cinema Day without taking the production sector or even the producers whose films would be affected by the decision (of selling tickets at a concessional price of Rs. 75 only) into confidence. Disney had every right to object to the date which was finalised, especially because BRAHMASTRA is a very big-budget fare.

YOU ASKED IT | 16 September, 2022

Why did Brahmastra get mixed reviews last week?

– Probably because it is a completely new kind of film for the Hindi film-going audiences. That’s why most of the reviewers went wrong. They failed to appreciate the power of the absolutely outstanding VFX in the film. But the case of a couple of reviewers was pitiable: they gave the film bad reviews to ‘atone’ for their ‘sin’ of giving Karan Johar’s JUGJUGG JEEYO glowing reviews and even praising it for a couple of weeks after its release, to fool the people into believing that the film was a blockbuster. Of course, collections did not match their reviews and their positive comments for JUGJUGG JEEYO at all. To make up for their fake reviews for Karan’s JUGJUGG JEEYO, they decided to be ‘straightforward’ this time. But in their quest to give the impression that even they can be honest, they gave Karan’s new film, BRAHMASTRA, bad reviews. They made the second mistake by reviewing a hit film as a flop/disappointing film, only and only because they wanted to ‘correct’ their first mistake. Isn’t it sickening?

What is the minimum you expect Brahmastra to do in India?

– Refer to our review of BRAHMASTRA. We had predicted, and we quote from our review: “It has the potential to touch or almost touch the Rs. 100-crore mark in the first weekend, and touch or almost touch the Rs. 200-crore mark by the end of the second weekend.” To that, we now add that it has the potential to touch the Rs. 250-crore mark in its lifetime.

After Brahmastra, which film would you bet on?

– VIKRAM VEDHA. The film’s trailers have been loved by the public. The film should net at least Rs. 20-25 crore on the opening day (30th September).

YOU ASKED IT | 9 September, 2022

I’ve heard that collections of Brahmastra today (opening day) are very good for the 3D version but not up to the mark for the 2D version. Why is there so much disparity?

– The disparity is because the initial audience wants to experience the film in 3D as they knew from its trailers that the film would have visual effects of the kind never seen before in a Hindi film.

What kind of an opening do you expect Vikram Vedha to take on 30th September?

– Earth-shattering. The film’s teaser and trailer have created such a phenomenal impact on the public that the audience is literally waiting to watch the Saif-Hrithik. You can expect the first day’s collections to be upward of Rs. 30 crore!

Has the opening of Brahmastra changed anything in Bollywood?

– It definitely has! The fantastic collections of the first day’s shows have come like a morale booster for the industry people. Films had been flopping with such alarming regularity that the trade people had forgotten what it was like to experience a bumper opening.

YOU ASKED IT | 2 September, 2022

When there’s already so much negativity against Bollywood, why are the Bollywood people themselves posting negative things about their brethren?

– The whole negativity wave started in the public because a handful of Bollywood people spoke ill of successful Bollywood personalities in the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput’s demise. That continues in the minds of members of the general public. And the negative talk about successful people by some disgruntled people in the film industry also continues. But a correction is bound to happen. One self-styled film critic has already been arrested. That’s a correction!

If Liger could not take even a decent initial in spite of aggressive promotion, is pre-release marketing and promotion really necessary?

– Of course, it is! For every LIGER, there is a BHOOL BHULAIYAA 2 or an RRR (dubbed), which opened to great houses, thanks to wonderful promotion, among other things.

Does the continuous flopping of films at the box-office imply that the days of cinemas are numbered? Has OTT replaced cinemas?

– Not really! Films are flopping in theatres because the content is bad, not because OTT is posing formidable competition to cinemas.

YOU ASKED IT | 26 August, 2022

What was the logic of releasing Hindi Liger in non-Southern circuits on Thursday in the night shows only? And the logic of releasing the Telugu or Tamil dubbed version of the film in the non-Southern circuits on Thursday from morning itself?

None which comes to the mind. If anything, the poor attendance in cinemas screening the Telugu or Tamil dubbed version in the day-time shows on Thursday (August 25) only served to underline that the opening was terrible.

Why is there no major film releasing next week?

Perhaps, because of the Ganesh festival which falls next week. Since Ganesh Chaturthi falls on Wednesday, 31st August, producers must’ve steered clear of the following Friday (2nd September).

What do you make out of the recent line of flops in Bollywood?

– It’s the period of churning. New talent will come in place of the old creators who refuse to pull up their socks.

YOU ASKED IT | 19 August, 2022

With films flopping one after the other, how did Inox, a public limited company, report the first quarter of financial year 2022-23 as its best ever quarter in its 20-year history?

The terrible patch started in Bollywood after May 2022. Before that, the months from January-May were good. The first quarter of 2022-23 implies business results of the months of April, May and June 2022. They became even better because of the success of several Hollywood and South films. Besides, the number of screens under the Inox umbrella has gone up.

If I were to ask you to point out the one biggest mistake in Laal Singh Chaddha, what would it be?

FORREST GUMP should never have been remade in Hindi because that film was not meant for the large mass base of Indian audiences. Even if it were to be remade, it should have been rewritten completely afresh to suit the sensibilities of the Indian public. And more importantly, it should have been made at half or a third of the budget because it is a class film at the end of the day.

The film trade was banking a great deal on the success of Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan. What do the two failures mean for it now?

– With films flopping one after the other since many weeks, did the film trade have any option but to bank heavily on the success of the two films released last week, more so because they were hitting the screens on a festive day (Raksha Bandhan) and in one of the best weeks of the year (with multiple holidays)? The two failures mean that the trade’s tale of woes continues!

YOU ASKED IT | 12 August, 2022

Is it time for revision of star prices now? After all, films are falling like nine pins at the box-office.

It will never be time for revision of star prices till producers don’t stop chasing stars. While stars are in short supply, the number of films being made with a handful of saleable stars is ever-increasing. That is why the call for revision of star prices will always fall on deaf ears. Had the stars been a conscientious lot, they would have reduced the fees they charge, of their own volition. But which star has that kind of a clean conscience? Which star is thinking of the industry before himself? (Picture above is for representational purpose only.)

I have a wonderful script which I have myself written. But I’m finding it difficult to get a star who will work in my film. What can I do?

Every writer thinks, he has written a wonderful script. Before the audience also thinks so, the stars have to be convinced of the wonderfulness of the script, otherwise such projects never take off. This is not to dissuade you, but are you sure that your script is indeed very good? Has a person unrelated to your script endorsed it or found it interesting?

Have our filmmakers forgotten to make good films?

– I don’t think so. That is why the spate of flops is not really cause for concern. The situation would’ve been tension-ridden if our filmmakers had lost their creativity. But the fact is that Bollywood films are flopping not because our filmmakers don’t know to make good films but because the urge to make good films has taken a backseat. The motivating force is profitability which is assured for even below-average fares.

YOU ASKED IT | 5 August, 2022

Isn’t the situation at the Bollywood box-office alarming?

It is not as alarming as is being made out to be. The panic button would have been needed to be pressed if good films were flopping, but that isn’t happening. All the films, which are failing at the box-office, deserved to fail. Hence there is hope. It isn’t as if filmmakers have forgotten to make films, or that writers have forgotten to write well. The fact is that almost everybody was taking the easy way out — dishing out substandard fare and hoping that the public would accept it. They must’ve realised that there is no shortcut to success. They will now work harder. So the new crop of films will be far superior. Rejoice!

Is it alright for an Akshay Kumar starrer to have a running time of just 110 minutes? Raksha Bandhan has a running time of 1 hour and 50 minutes only.

One can’t comment without watching the film. But let me add here that exhibitors are unhappy with its unusually small length. Such running times are alright for offbeat films with less popular actors, they feel, but an A-list actor’s film ought to be of more than two hours! Let me add here that sometimes, the audience also feels cheated when the film is unduly short.

After Ranbir Kapoor’s Shamshera having bombed at the box-office, will Brahmastra take a good opening?

– You bet, BRAHMASTRA will take a fantastic opening. And not just because its ‘Kesariya’ song is a super-hit number.

YOU ASKED IT | 29 July, 2022

Why did Vikrant Rona (dubbed) not take a decent opening? After all, the audience seems to have more faith in dubbed versions of South films!

That’s not true. After PUSHPA: THE RISE PART 1, RRR and K.G.F. CHAPTER 2, there have been so many South films, dubbed in Hindi, which have failed at the box-office. Each film, whether from the South or not, is weighed for what it is worth.

There’s no major new film releasing next week in cinemas whereas two big films — Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan — are slated for release in the following week (on 11th August). Why couldn’t one of the two films release next week?

The producers of both the big films (LAAL SINGH CHADDHA and RAKSHA BANDHAN) wanted to take advantage of the festive holiday of Raksha Bandhan on 11th August and the national holiday of Independence Day on 15th August, in their first week. So who is anybody to advise them to release their film a week earlier?

What corrective steps would you suggest for Aditya Chopra to improve the quality of his production ventures?

– Aditya Chopra is going wrong in the greenlighting of his films. Most of his recent films should never have been made in the first place.

YOU ASKED IT | 22 July, 2022

Which between Laal Singh Chaddha and Raksha Bandhan will take a bigger opening on 11th August?

Since 11th August is the day of the Raksha Bandhan festival, it will be a holiday. So let us pray that both, LAAL SINGH CHADDHA and RAKSHA BANDHAN, open to bumper houses.

Why does the trade always say that it is better for two big films to not clash on the same day?

Big films need more number of shows per day. If two big films hit the screens on the same day, shows get divided. In other words, none of the two films gets the optimum number of shows it deserves. Also, there are already running films too which need to be accommodated along with the two big releases.

Does Bollywood need to worry about the rate at which films are flopping?

– Definitely, Bollywood needs to worry. And not just about the rate at which films are flopping but also at how terribly they are bombing. Shows being cancelled at cinemas owing to absence of audience is becoming routine, and that’s not a good sign.